At a ceremony on August 10, Metro and Los Angeles city officials officially cut the ribbon on new segments of protected bus-only and protected bike lanes in Downtown.


The bus-only lanes, which will be active from 7 am to 7 pm between Monday and Friday, run along the shoulders of 5th and 6th Streets from just east of Flower Street to Central Avenue.

According to a post to The Source, Metro operates roughly one dozen bus lines along both corridors which carry a combined total of 29,000 weekday riders.  Torrance Transit, LADOT, Antelope Valley Transit, and Montebello Bus Lines also make use of 5th and 6th Streets.

Future improvements to the 5th and 6th Street corridors include an extension of the westbound lane on 5th Street to Flower Streets, as well as the installation of "signal queue jumper" technology to allow buses to travel through the congested intersection more easily.  Completion of phase two is expected in Spring 2021.

The bike lanes parallel the bus-only lanes for roughly half of the corridor, running between Spring Street and Central Avenue.  The lanes connect with existing north-south bicycle infrastructure along Spring and Main Street, and are opening less than three months after the debut of new protected lanes along 7th Street.

The new bus-only lanes in Downtown Los Angeles serve as a prelude to an expansive revamp of the Countywide transit network as part of Metro's NextGen Bus Plan.  In addition to shifting resources to provide more frequent service on some of the region's major corridors, Metro is also providing funding for new infrastructure to speed travel times on its notoriously sluggish system.  New bus-only lanes are also being considered for sections of Olive Street and Grand Avenue, and potentially other streets outside of the Downtown core.